Boomers and Chronic Illness: Planning for Senior Living
Rapidly growing senior population likely to live longer and be sicker than parents. Planning ahead for future medical issues can be helpful.
The U.S. population is aging and older Americans are living longer. However, the growing rates of chronic diseases in the boomer generation points to an emerging health care crisis, says a recent report that analyzes seniors’ health status in the United States.
Just two years ago, the first Baby Boomers turned 65, setting into motion a “tremendous demographic shift in the U.S. population,” said physician Rhonda Randall in an interview with USA Today. Randall is a senior adviser to the not-for-profit United Health Foundation, which recently released America’s Health Rankings Senior Report for 2013.
The report focused on 34 measures of senior health, including physical inactivity, weight, self-reported health status, poverty, drug coverage, hospital re-admission rates and flu vaccinations. The data analyzed is from more than a dozen government agencies and private research groups.
As people move into retirement, they become greater consumers of health care, Randall said. But those turning 65 today “are more likely to live longer than their parents and grandparents, and much more likely to live sicker for a longer period of time,” she said.
According to the report:
• 1 in 8 Americans (13% or 40.3 million) are 65 or older, and that is projected to grow to 1 in 5 (19.3%, or 72.1) in 2030, the year all members of the Baby Boomer generation will have turned 65, according to Census data. By 2050, seniors will make up 25% of the population. Those 85 and older are projected to increase from 5.8 million in 2010 to 8.7 million in 2030.
• Nearly 8 in 10 seniors are living with at least one chronic health condition; 50% have two or more, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates.
Planning ahead for future needs can bring piece of mind.
While you can’t control the future you can control how you plan for what may come. And, you may find that being prepared for a variety of outcomes allows you to feel more confident about how you’ll be able to handle a medical crisis or chronic illness.
Whether you plan to stay in your current home, or move to a one-level living environment, you should focus on how you’ll prepare your bedroom for the future. An adjustable bed offers an array of health and comfort benefits and should be your first consideration when preparing your bedroom for the future.
See also: 12 Bedroom Safety Tips For Seniors
Every day doctors recommend patients sleep with their head or legs elevated for a variety of medical conditions. You may already have mild issues that can be helped by sleeping in an adjustable bed. Recuperating from unexpected surgeries or hospitalizations and getting proper rest when living with chronic conditions may be much easier to achieve when you can adjust the head and foot of your bed to find positional comfort. As an added bonus, reading, watching TV or working on a laptop are all much easier and more enjoyable in an adjustable bed.
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